Viewpoint: June 21, 2012

More than four in 10 East Baton Rouge Parish residents don't feel safe walking alone in their neighborhoods at night. A survey by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation also shows more than 30 percent say lowering crime is the most important thing government can do to improve their quality of life.

That perception is not lost on law enforcement. Authorities are optimistic their new "BRAVE" program, which targets crime in the 70805 zip code, will start to lower crime. For "BRAVE" to work, law enforcement has to earn the trust of people living in high crime areas.

But, the survey also shows that won't be easy, since more than 55 percent of residents say they have little or no influence on city-parish leaders. Getting positive results and getting them quickly is important.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed also say pace of progress in East Baton Rouge is too slow. In this case, our safety may depend on it.